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postgraduate thesis: Pathways to collective action : a study of local irrigation governance and management in central China

TitlePathways to collective action : a study of local irrigation governance and management in central China
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Lam, WF
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Zhou, Q. [周茜]. (2014). Pathways to collective action : a study of local irrigation governance and management in central China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5295528
AbstractThis study presents a diagnostic analysis of how two types of governance structures (water user associations versus collective irrigation institutions) at Hubei, issue their impacts on local irrigation governance and management, to produce a collective action outcome in irrigation systems. In particular, it focuses on (1) at the meso level, institutional analyses of irrigation management incorporate physical, community, and institutional attributes, and their interactions to configure possible pathways to collective outcomes within Hubei’s settings, and (2) at the micro level, the underlying mechanisms that offer individuals incentives to cooperate with each other for irrigation activities. Drawing upon a theoretical debate about rationales for promoting or limiting the establishment and development of water user associations, and empirical puzzling phenomena observed in Central China, three research hypotheses are posited accordingly. Determinants of collective outcomes in local irrigation governance and management are highlighted from irrigation literature. Employing Elinor Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development Framework, an analytical framework exploring irrigation governance patterns in Central China is introduced. A mixed research method is applied in this study. At the meso level, 32 irrigation systems are selected to run a Qualitative Comparative Analysis; at the micro level, four irrigation systems are identified out for an in-depth comparative case study. In the end, three pathways to collective action, and four pathways to water adequacy, are generalized respectively. Evidence from 32 irrigation systems in central China indicates that both WUA-managed irrigation systems and collective irrigation systems have the capacity to organize collective irrigation activities successfully in local settings. For one thing, WUA is only one of the many factors affecting collective outcomes, and that the impact of WUA really depends on how it is nested within the larger configuration of factors; thus, challenging the belief of many government officials and analysts that WUA institution is a panacea for irrigation problems. For the other, collective irrigation systems could also achieve collective action, if attributes configured appropriately. This demonstrates that collective irrigation institution, in and of itself, is not automatically malign; given this, moves towards participatory governance do not necessarily render traditional hierarchical government interventions obsolete. Last but not least, this study also identifies a third governance institution, namely, the lineage group. Findings indicate that as informal solidary entities, lineage groups have important contributions to rural governance, as long as they are nested within the appropriate attributes configurations. Referring to the pathways to water adequacy, it is found that the emergence of collective action alone does not necessarily translate into water adequacy at the tail end of the irrigation systems. The four case studies not only entail some pathways to collective action, but also exemplify complicated and diverse reasons that might lead to collective failures. Comparing the successful cases with the failure ones, boundary rules, position rules, choice rules, and payoff rules explain the systematic differences at the operational level, while information rules, aggregation rules, and scope rules that operate at the collective level, appear to have minimal effect here.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectIrrigation - China - Hubei Sheng - Management
Dept/ProgramPolitics and Public Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/202364

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLam, WF-
dc.contributor.authorZhou, Qian-
dc.contributor.author周茜-
dc.date.accessioned2014-09-18T02:28:14Z-
dc.date.available2014-09-18T02:28:14Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationZhou, Q. [周茜]. (2014). Pathways to collective action : a study of local irrigation governance and management in central China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5295528-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/202364-
dc.description.abstractThis study presents a diagnostic analysis of how two types of governance structures (water user associations versus collective irrigation institutions) at Hubei, issue their impacts on local irrigation governance and management, to produce a collective action outcome in irrigation systems. In particular, it focuses on (1) at the meso level, institutional analyses of irrigation management incorporate physical, community, and institutional attributes, and their interactions to configure possible pathways to collective outcomes within Hubei’s settings, and (2) at the micro level, the underlying mechanisms that offer individuals incentives to cooperate with each other for irrigation activities. Drawing upon a theoretical debate about rationales for promoting or limiting the establishment and development of water user associations, and empirical puzzling phenomena observed in Central China, three research hypotheses are posited accordingly. Determinants of collective outcomes in local irrigation governance and management are highlighted from irrigation literature. Employing Elinor Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development Framework, an analytical framework exploring irrigation governance patterns in Central China is introduced. A mixed research method is applied in this study. At the meso level, 32 irrigation systems are selected to run a Qualitative Comparative Analysis; at the micro level, four irrigation systems are identified out for an in-depth comparative case study. In the end, three pathways to collective action, and four pathways to water adequacy, are generalized respectively. Evidence from 32 irrigation systems in central China indicates that both WUA-managed irrigation systems and collective irrigation systems have the capacity to organize collective irrigation activities successfully in local settings. For one thing, WUA is only one of the many factors affecting collective outcomes, and that the impact of WUA really depends on how it is nested within the larger configuration of factors; thus, challenging the belief of many government officials and analysts that WUA institution is a panacea for irrigation problems. For the other, collective irrigation systems could also achieve collective action, if attributes configured appropriately. This demonstrates that collective irrigation institution, in and of itself, is not automatically malign; given this, moves towards participatory governance do not necessarily render traditional hierarchical government interventions obsolete. Last but not least, this study also identifies a third governance institution, namely, the lineage group. Findings indicate that as informal solidary entities, lineage groups have important contributions to rural governance, as long as they are nested within the appropriate attributes configurations. Referring to the pathways to water adequacy, it is found that the emergence of collective action alone does not necessarily translate into water adequacy at the tail end of the irrigation systems. The four case studies not only entail some pathways to collective action, but also exemplify complicated and diverse reasons that might lead to collective failures. Comparing the successful cases with the failure ones, boundary rules, position rules, choice rules, and payoff rules explain the systematic differences at the operational level, while information rules, aggregation rules, and scope rules that operate at the collective level, appear to have minimal effect here.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshIrrigation - China - Hubei Sheng - Management-
dc.titlePathways to collective action : a study of local irrigation governance and management in central China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5295528-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePolitics and Public Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5295528-

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